If the name Martin C. Strong is familiar to you, it’s likely you are a serious music fan of some kind. It’s possible you’re even some sort of music geek. Strong is developing into the guy when it comes to encyclopedic books about various branches of music. Thus far he has authored or been part of The Great Rock Discography, The Essential Rock Discography, The Great Metal Discography, The Great Psychedelic, The Great Alternative and Lights, Camera, Soundtracks.
To all of this he now adds the first volume of The Great Folk Discography, which focuses on Pioneers and Early Legends. Volume Two: The New Legends, is due out in December of this year. Long story short: the music lover in your life might be very happy come Christmas.
Meanwhile, though, folk enthusiasts will find their cup running over. If you want to know about folk music -- names, dates and places -- it’s here. The only thing that will surprise you is the depth of this book and the amount of material it includes. If you’re like most people (and I imagine myself in that particular crowd) you’ll first think: “Folk music? How much can there possibly be to know?” As it turns out, the correct answer is: “A lot!”
Don’t misunderstand: this is not a sort of gentle biography that makes for easy, novel-style reading. This is page upon page (upon page upon page) of carefully notated entries on… well… everything when it comes to folk music. Things you have forgotten. And, more likely, things you didn’t realize there were to know. If it’s folk, it’s here. ’Nuff said: if this is the book for you, you’re probably already halfway to the bookstore to secure your copy. ◊
Lincoln Cho is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in the Chicago area, where he works in the high-tech industry. He is currently working on a his first novel, a science-fiction thriller set in the world of telecommunications.